Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
Now that so many camping facilities are on some type of reservation system, I think it is important that we begin making arrangements before we begin a trip. My husband, Dan, does not like making reservations. He thinks it puts us on a schedule and forces us to move whether we are ready to or not. If we don’t make reservations we cannot get into many campgrounds that we enjoy. It’s a “Catch 22” and causes many arguments. How can we solve this dilemma?
--Book 'em, Danno, in Delray Beach
It is getting harder every year to schedule a trip, or stay where you want, when you want. I just heard of a software program that some campers are using that works similar to an Ebay Auction software. It will actually monitor a reservation site, snag cancelations and keep them open until the users decide whether they want them or not. I have seen people scalping reservations on Ebay and Craigslist for popular sites. Competition for campsites is heating up as more and more RVer’s hit the road. The process of supply and demand continues to increase camping costs, along with government decisions to farm public campgrounds out to concessioners who find it easier to raise pricing and switch to a reservation system. Many people who have been fighting the urge to reserve a site are now finding it much more convenient to secure a few great places, and put themselves on a schedule. The alternative is to constantly play campground Bingo on the computer or show up and hope for an opening. It is all part of the stress of combat camping. In your case you might want to compromise and do a bit of both. Reserve some of the places you both know you want, and wing it with the rest. Not making reservations also forces you to move constantly from site to site when you do get into a park and often move out during busy weekends that have been entirely booked. I know it’s tough when the fish are biting and you have to move on to your next reservation. Welcome to camping in the 21st century.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink